December, 2013 / Author:

New web series Hunting Season brings focus to the genital area

Web series are making gay TV more accessible. They are a relatively new trend that has been surfacing often in the last few months, to varying degrees of professionalism.

Hunting Season, a web series born out of a successful blog, is at the head of the pack. And with Season 2 in the works through a Kickstarter campaign, it’s worth checking out Season 1 over the holidays.

Hunting Season is a Jon Marcus creation. After falling in love with The Great Cock Hunt, a 2005-2008 blog that covered the exploits of a gay 30-year-old Gawker employee named Alex, and its accurate portrayal of the New York dating scene,

Marcus felt compelled to bring his own vision to life. The show’s first season has eight episodes, all about 10 to 15 minutes long, focusing on the same Alex who wrote the blog entries for The Great Cock Hunt.

The show’s appeal is that while Alex is living a lifestyle that is heavily influenced by the unique circumstances of New York, it also speaks to a potentially universal experience. It is about transitioning out of your 20s and into your 30s and what that means. The writing is careful in not judging oneself and the youthful choices one makes, as well as what we carry over into our 30s.

As the show is about how we live and how we want to live, its supporting cast offers the same non-judgmental liberties. Having said that, we obviously have comments to make about how we spend our nights, and who we spend them with, and what it says about who we are. No judgment though (wink wink).

This is the intended purpose. “I wasn’t really concerned with trying to make big statements,” said Marcus. “I wanted to be honest and real and capture New York as part of the fabric of our lives.” If you do that right, it’s the honesty that makes it relatable to a wider group of people. I think Marcus is honest in framing the show in this way, as cities do influence us. Living in Winnipeg will be different than San Francisco and Abu Dhabi. But there are certain universal truths of living that transcend our settings.

What Marcus also understands is that pretty faces and pretty bodies go a long way, but solid acting is important to make the characters credible. And Ben Baur is not only credible in portraying Alex, but he also brings a decent acting bio to support his natural beauty and appealing voice (important when narration is a key element to the project). The rest of the cast is diverse, allowing viewers to appreciate the main character but also pick their favourite on-screen hotties based on their own personal tastes (no judgment). All cast members have acting credits to back up their presence.

Hunting Season does understand its clientele, and the medium it speaks to them with. The website allows you to view the episodes for free, but only the censored version. To see the uncensored version and truly benefit from the casting choices, you have to dish out $3 an episode. If you splurge for the uncensored version, you might be surprised how decent a deal that is.

And as the show’s creators seek to continue its success, they look to their adoring fans for help. A Kickstarter campaign to fund Season 2 was ongoing throughout November. However, as of press time and with only two weeks to go, the campaign was one third of its way towards reaching its $150,000 funding goal.

But the show’s creators already have the show’s Season 2 all planned out. Marcus promises that “the ride is just beginning, you can expect Season 2 to go much deeper into their lives.” So you’re not far behind even if you don’t know the series, since the first season was about setting up the world and getting introduced to the characters.

The show’s devoted audience and cast are all looking forward to “deeper” character development. “I’m excited to see him continue to fumble through his life and make mistakes,” Ben Baur contemplates on his character, “and I’m really excited about all the hot guys he may be hooking up with.” Clearly, the show’s creator and actors understand its appeal.

But even though it’s the hot guys and the nice cocks that get us to watch and keep watching, it’s the realism and the raw treatment of the subjects that gives depth to the show and allows it to stand out. When asked about his portrayal of Alex, Baur brings up some of this depth. “Of course there are elements of me in Alex. Honestly though, I think I learned a lot from Alex. He’s so out there and himself and he does not apologize for it and that’s something I try to do in my life.”

Ultimately, it’s what we all try to do in our lives; live with confidence our most authentic gay self possible.

 


– Eric Plamondon is a Winnipeg-based freelance writer.

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